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Hunting with handgun cartriges

5710 Views 27 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  miestro_jerry
I'm fascinated by handgun hunting (probably the whole "forbidden fruit" thing) and I got thinking, what can you take with various handgun rounds? There are some VERY powerful handguns out there, like the .500 S&W, but I'm curious about the other staples. Rounds you may not think about when you think handgun hunting. Are there any hunting applications the following cartridges could be used for? What would they be good for and at what ranges? Would it make a difference if it was from a pistol/revolver/contender/carbine?

9mm Luger
.40 S&W
10mm Auto
.45 ACP
.357 SIG
.45 GAP
.45 Colt
.357 Magnum
.44 Magnum
.41 Magnum
.50 AE
.454 Casul
.327 Federal Magnum

There's others that I am forgetting for sure. A bunch of .32 or .38 caliber rounds for example. I expect that rounds like the 9mm would not be used for hunting at all, and rounds like .45 ACP only from close range, but if I knew, I wouldn't be asking. :p

What can you tell me?
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Don't get me wrong i have one and i love it and it is capable of hot loads but i have NEVER found a load that has a same weight bullet with more velocity or a higher weight bullet with more velocity or comparaple velocity so Visa Vi i have never found ANY .45 colt loads that are "way higher in the food chain" compared to a .44 magnum does anybody have some.

.44 Magnum- Have taken many deer and have seen it used on game as large as buffalo, not as high on the food chain as a properly loaded 45 Colt IMHO and experience

a 325 grain LFN with 22 to 24 grains of H-110/296 is awesome of large game
It's been a while now. I guess it is time for another lively 44 mag/45 Colt debate. But not here. Opps. Not a moderator. Rock On!
I guess when it comes to using a handgun to hunt with, these two cartridges are the most commonly debated, largely because they are both very effective. I find it interesting that sometimes it requires a comparison of two quite similar items to generate heated discussion, where the most logical conclusion is simply to give each option its due and move on. The 44 Rem Mag and 45 Long Colt will both get the job done, at virtually identical ranges, and for virtually identical reasons. The 44 being a little faster and the 45 being a little bigger: I wonder if there has ever been a case where a properly placed bullet from one failed, where the same from the other cartridge would have been successful? I tend to doubt it.

You can't even give either a nod of superiority based on their ability to be loaded down, since both have excellent options for doing so, although in the case of the 45LC, it's more a case of NOT loading it "up". Regardless, both are at the top of the heap for traditional straight-walled cases, used for handgun hunting. About the only thing I can think of that might make the 44Mag "better", is that pretty much any gun chambered for such will handle the hottest factory loads, and that is not at all true for the 45LC. That one caveat aside, they're too close for me to call.
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In my experience, for what that's worth, it's the ability of the shooter that determines the effective range of a handgun. The cartridge itself might work to 100 yards, but if the shooter can't consistently hit the kill zone at that distance, the subject is moot. Only the most well-built/tuned semi-autos are capable of putting bullets into a tight enough group much past 50 yards while single-shots and some revolvers are accurate at up to 200.
I've used the following for hunting: .357 Mag, .357 Max, .357-44 Bain & Davis, .44 Mag, .445 SuperMag and .45 Colt; although I prefer the Maximum for larger game. It eliminates the variables; it's more accurate than I am with an effective range farther than I'll ever attempt a shot and low in recoil. The most challenging of all for me though are headshots on squirrel and rabbits with a downloaded .357 Magnum.
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Might do the next bison with the .44 mag and see how it goes!!! :D
I hunt small game with my Ruger NM Super Single Six in both .22LR and Mag. I've dispatched 250 lb hogs with it also (same with a .38 SPL). For wild pigs and deer I used .357 Mag (Smith 66 4" and Coonan 5" semi), bunch of Smith 4-6.5" .41 Mags and recently a old M29-2 6.5" .44 Mag. All will do the job with a proper bullet and your ability to place the rounds where needed.

My 50 ae DE does a wonderful job of killing larger blocks of wood. Of course so does my 454, 10mm, 357max, 500smith, and 45colt. I vote for any of the above.
9mm Luger - Ground Hogs
.40 S&W - never owned one
10mm Auto - Ground Hogs
.45 ACP - Ground Hogs, Coyotes and one Copperhead
.357 SIG - never owned one
.45 GAP - Coyotes
.45 Colt - Deer
.357 Magnum - Deer
.44 Magnum - Deer, Hogs
.41 Magnum - never used mine for wild life
.50 AE - Never Owned One
.454 Casul - Deer, Hogs,Small Bear
.327 Federal Magnum - Never Owned One

Let throw in these

357 Max - Deer, Bear, Coyotes, Hogs
500 S&W - Bear, Big Boar
Plus I have owned many T/C Contnders, plus a few Wildcats and JDJ calibers

I carry a SIG P220 in 45 ACP when I am working my farm.

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